KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has described Sarawak Day 2021 as a truly meaningful celebration.In extending his well wishes to Sarawakians to mark the occasion yesterday, he said it had been 58 years since the state officially attained self-government.
Muhyiddin said Sarawak Day was celebrated meaningfully by Sarawakians in their own way, even without face-to-face gatherings and activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The celebration must truly be meaningful to all Sarawakians as it was on this date 58 years ago that Sarawak officially attained self-government,” he said in a Facebook posting.
Sarawak Day commemorates the state’s attainment of self-government from the British in 1963. It was declared a state public holiday in 2016.
The theme of the Sarawak Day celebration this year is “Sarawak Gemilang Untuk Semua” (A Prosperous Sarawak for All).
The hybrid celebration of Sarawak Day 2021 was held at the State Assembly Complex in Kuching last night, with the number of guests limited to 100 to comply with the Covid-19 standard operating procedure as Sarawak is still under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan.
Bernama reported that Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg and his wife, as well as several state Cabinet minister were scheduled to attend the event.
The celebration featured a mix of virtual and live performances including a dance titled “Sarawak Bahagia”, video presentations on “Aspirasi Sarawakku Sayang”, a short film titled I Am Sarawak and a documentary titled The Struggle.
Meanwhile, it was a colourful sight at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) vaccination centre in Kuching with medical staff members and volunteers dressing up in traditional costumes to celebrate Sarawak Day.
For Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi, the occasion was an opportunity to showcase Sarawak’s unity in diversity amid the pandemic.
“We are celebrating Sarawak Day by wearing traditional costumes that represent groups such as the Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Chinese, Malays and Indians.
“There is no question that the patriotic spirit is still strong despite the challenges of the pandemic.
“Everyone at this vaccination centre is contributing their time and energy regardless of their background, race or religion.
“The harmony among all races in Sarawak remains strong and can be seen here,” he said.
Nurse Debbie Bohan from the medicine and health sciences faculty, who was wearing a Bugis costume, said she was proud of Sarawak’s unity.
Vaccine recipient Ayredale Syera Tommy Pila said she was impressed to see the staff members dressed in traditional costumes when she arrived for her jab.
“The beautiful costumes were worn by people of various races. I feel proud because in Sarawak everyone lives in harmony,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kadim said the Unimas vaccination centre had given out 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines as of Wednesday since starting operations on June 14.
He said the centre used an automated queue management system developed by Unimas researchers, while all the staff and volunteers were from Unimas.
“Nearly 800 people are involved in the centre’s operations. Each day there are about 300 people on duty and they have all been working hard.
“Some of them wake up early to collect the vaccines from the Sarawak Heart Centre at 5.30am and bring them here,” he added.